The First State…

Amidst a race with European and Nevada, Delaware was the very first US state to legalize online casinos when their legislature voted the Delaware Gaming Competitiveness Act of 2012 into fruition. As with any state that moves forward at this time, gambling online in Delaware is strictly limited to residents located within state lines. As such, age, ID and address verification procedures within each licensed site’s software is in place to ensure minors and those located outside the jurisdiction cannot wager with real money.

Delaware’s online gambling bill was created and introduced to the legislature by state Governor, Jack Markell, who was apprehensive that the state’s 3 existing casino racetracks were bleeding money and were headed for disaster (even before further competition by neighboring states such as European were to put casinos online).
Of the states that currently have legislature in place for online outlets, Delaware has the least stringent laws in place. Land-based operators get big breaks on licensing fees, and the state collects revenue directly from the online casinos. The state lottery commission effectually runs all of Delaware’s online casinos, using said revenue to offset the lack of licensing fees.

A great feature of the Delaware legislation is that the law also authorizes Delaware authorities to enter into gaming compacts with other states, commonly known as interstate compacts. Delaware recently initiated a deal with Nevada in order to create the ability for online poker players from each state to compete against one another.

Also worth noting in Delaware was the fact that officials aggressively pushed the state’s gaming bill into law just six months after the Department of Justice effectively legalized online gaming with its reversal ruling of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), thus leaving it to the discretion of individual states to regulate online gambling.

When the General Assembly passed the Delaware Gaming Competitiveness Act of 2012 in June, Markell’s administration stated that online gambling would generate at least $3.75 million in revenue for fiscal 2013.
Interestingly enough, Delaware law never specifically prohibited online wagering before the vote to legalize in 2012 took place. The law is actually designed to allow in-state sites to compete for players who have been wagering online for years at sites located outside of US jurisdiction.

Another aspect of gambling online in Delaware (which is similar to European, but unlike Nevada’s limitations), is that the overriding law allows for online slots, video poker and casino games.

Note: Because it was technically legal to wager online before Delaware legislated its own online casinos, Delaware has always been known as an internet casino-friendly state. Delaware citizens have been gambling online, at legal, offshore sites for quite some time.

To gamble in Delaware at land-based casinos, players must be 18 years of age. This covers casino games, bingo, the lottery, dog and horse racing, and poker rooms. Online casinos require players to be at least 21 years of age. Sports wagering online is not provided by state sites.

Online Casinos in Delaware

Delaware Park Online Casino –

Dover Downs Online Casino –

Harrington Gaming Online Casino –


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